Trio claim title in epic Hawaiian paddleboard race


PREPARATION: The boys in the water in the days before the Hawaii race. Swansea Belmont Surf Live Saving Club was represented at therecent Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard WorldChampionships in Hawaii by athree-man teamthat claimed a divisional world title.

Club members Nick Stoddart, 15, Saxon Coates, 15, and Ethan Coates, 17, won the Stock Prone 3 Man Team Division at the championships, which was contested by men and women from more than 20 countries.

The triowere the youngest team in their division and and some of the youngest to compete at the event.

So impressive was their race, the boys came secondin overall team results and finished in front ofHawaiian professionalsurfer John John Florence’s team.

Competitors in the annual 52km race crossthe Ka’iwi Channel, also known as the Moloka’i Channel and Channel of Bones. They face strong currents as they navigate the fast downwind-route overone of the most powerful channels in the world.

As a team, the boys took turns in the water during the race with the two who were not in the water trailing close behind in a support boat.

WINNERS: Saxon Coates, Ethan Coates and Nick Stoddart following the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships.

“It was pretty tricky actually,” Nick Stoddart said.

“The conditions weren’t as they were expected, but it was still good fun over there.

“There was a lot of water moving around and it was hard to get your own rhythm going.It was a lot different to anything I’d ever paddled in.”

The boys prepared for the race with senior competitorStewart McLachlan, conducting training paddles between Redhead andSwansea.

The race is an open event and requires no qualification, but the boys had to submit applications to be approved to enter the race.

Having won state and national junior honours, it was no surprise that their credentials stacked up and they were given approval.

“In a couple of years time I want to go back and do it on my own,” Nick said.

AFL trio’s day at Princess Park REPS: Reed van Huisstede, Ky McGrath and Aidan Watling at Princess Park.

Three AFL players from the Hunter played at the old Princess Park in Melbourne on Sunday when theNSW/ACT Under-17s Ramsteam faced Vic Metro in the AFL’s Futures Series.

Reed van Huisstede, Aidan Watlingand Ky McGrath all played for the Rams in what was the third round of the Futures Series.The side was beaten byVic Metro, falling 91-80 in a close result.

All three boys are in the Swans Academyandtrain in Sydney once a week, in addition to local trainingwith the Swans satellite program.

Rollings makesAustralian sideSouths hockey player SebastianRollings will wear the green and gold later this yearafter being selected in theAustralian All Schools team.

The Hunter Valley Grammar School student played for NSW in the School Sport Australia Championships last week on the Gold Coast.

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